Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Is solar power environmentally acceptable solution for California?

Sunny California is one of the U.S. solar energy leaders, and certainly one of the states that is doing the most for renewable energy cause in United States. Renewable energy sources such as solar are not only needed because fossil fuels will eventually become depleted but also because they can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere thus reducing the climate change impact.

Is solar power completely environmentally friendly source of energy? No, because such source does not exist. Is it a better solution than fossil fuels? In most cases, yes, though there are still certain environmental factors which cannot be overlooked.

California, or to be more precise Mojave desert is California is an area with tremendous solar energy potential but there are some environmentalists who fear that the construction of new large-scale solar power plants in the Mojave Desert may harm the biological diversity in the area.

A most recent study by he Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University showed that solar power developers in California have been using mostly undeveloped desert areas with sensitive ecosystems as sites for new solar power plants instead on focusing primarily on less sensitive, previously developed open lands.

The researchers fear that the ecological footprint of solar power development could grow to more than 27,500 square miles if U.S. were to adopt a more ambitious climate goal. This could cause significant damage to many sensitive ecosystems in the area.

The researchers warned that of "161 planned or operating utility-scale solar power developments in California, more than half have been or will be built on natural shrub and scrublands."

Solar energy development cannot become a driving force behind the loss of California’s natural ecosystems. Something has to be done to prevent adverse effects on nearby environment.

Solar power plants require plenty of land to be installed, and science and technology might have to start looking for solutions that are able to decrease massive land requirements for new solar installations.